Jobs, investment and clean energy keep coming: New Energy Economy update

By on December 16, 2013

CPS Energy’s New Energy Economy partner companies have created 273 jobs, invested $35 million in capital expenditures and contributed more than $1 million to local educational institutions thus far.

That’s the message CPS Energy Board of Trustees heard Monday morning from Frank Almaraz, vice president of corporate development and planning, as he shared a comprehensive update on the initiative.

“And we’re just getting started,” he told the board, noting that he 273 jobs were only a quarter of the more than 1,000 jobs committed to by companies such as OCI Solar Power, Consert, Nexolon America, Silver Spring Networks and others who’ve come to the San Antonio region as part of the New Energy Economy.

Together, the companies have committed to 1,025 jobs, $115 million in capital investments and $13 million in educational commitments, as part of CPS Energy’s efforts to fill the pipeline with a strong, STEM-educated workforce.

Steve Nivin, assistant professor of economics at St. Mary’s University, recently completed an economic impact study on the New Energy Economy, finding a $360 million annual impact rippling out from the companies’ direct investments.

By 2022, Nivin calculated, the regions will see an annual economic impact of $1.6 billion, Almaraz told the board.

The 41 MW Alamo I solar farm, the first of what will be OCI Solar Power’s 400 MW commitment to CPS Energy, has just begun sending power to the grid, Almaraz said. The 453-acre site hosts 160,000 panels and will create power for about 6,600 homes.

And because generating that power is emissions-free, it will eliminate 52,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, or the equivalent of taking 9,500 cars off the road. That’s great news for San Antonio, which is perilously close to dropping out of attainment of federal clean air standards.

Alamo 2, a small 4.4 MW site off Binz-Engleman Road, will be completed in February, and last week Mortenson Construction held a job fair for Alamo 4, a 40 MW site to be located in Bracketville, 124 miles west of San Antonio.

Read the latest on CPS Energy’s other New Energy Economy partners in this presentation Almaraz gave the board.

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